'This Pretty Village Is My Favourite Place In Ireland For A Weekend Getaway'

Fresh seafood and seaside walks <3

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While I love jetting off to somewhere far flung and exotic as much as the next person, sometimes a weekend getaway in our own country can be just as soothing for the soul.

My favourite place to go? It always has been, and always will be, Roundstone in Galway.

Roundstone is a popular village in the west that has become somewhat of a second home to artists looking for inspiration from the remarkable beauty of the surrounding mountains and seascapes.

Just 15 minutes drive from the buzzier town of Clifden, Roundstone is seriously straight out of a postcard; overlooking a fishing harbour with the 12 Bens mountain range in the background.

Here's why I'm so obsessed...

You're seriously spoiled for scenic walks

With beaches and mountains galore, you could easily do a different walk every single evening for a week and not be bored of the scenery.

Favourite routes include the Tour de Bog, which brings you past Gurteen Bay and Dogs Bay, before coming down along a quiet road known locally as ‘The Bog Road,’ where there are great views of the Twelve Bens.

Nearby Cashel Hill is an ideal spot for sunset, with spectacular views from the summit.

The seafood here is the best in the west

Smack bang at the start of the village is a busy harbour where local fishermen prepare and return with the day’s catch, featuring a mix of Lobster, Crab, Shrimp, Mackerel, Cod plus a wide variety of other fish.

The town itself boasts a good selection of bars and seafood restaurants crammed full of locally caught seafood.

Top tip? Don't visit Roundstone without stopping off in O'Dowds Seafood Bar, who are famous for their seafood chowder and whopper Fishermans Platter.

You'll get completely lost in the village's vintage and craft stores...

Like I said, it's a haven for creatives, so you'll find some super cute stores to browse here.

The Matchmaker on the main street has a gorgeous collection of vintage clothing and accessories, all in amazing condition, as well as little knick-knacks and other curiosities, while Roundstone Ceramics has an international reputation for handcrafted pieces.

You can't beat a pint of the local brew overlooking the harbour...

Whether you're a whiskey fan or fond of a pint, you'll find something to drink in any of the village bars.

Local craft beers such as Galway Hooker pr a Connemara Gold Ale are best enjoyed sitting outside, wrapped up in a cosy Aran jumper and looking out at the sun setting over the bay.

Ireland's best beach is right around the corner

I might be biased here, but I defy anyone to spend a gloriously sunny day on Dog's Beach and not think it's the most beautiful sandy stretch in the entire country.

The bay is perfectly sheltered from wind, the water is usually not too icy cold, and if you really want something special, there's a hidden gem of a private cove just around the bend of the bay - simply cross up over the hill and through a field to find your very own secluded piece of paradise.

And the craic is mighty in the local bars

Galway is known for its trad music sessions, and Roundstone does not disappoint when it comes to impromtu jigs 'n reels, swigging back pints of Guiness with locals, and hearing all sorts of stories and goss.

The bars stay open probably quuuuite a bit later than they really should, but only because they know that everyone's having too much fun to leave.

Spend a few days down here the next time you're in need of a break, it will quickly become your favourite spot too, I promise...

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When it comes to fitness - it's not one-size-fits-all. Sami Dowling chats nutrition, fads, and finding the plan that's right for you on The Forty-Five podcast. Subscribe to The Forty-Five here